Publication Date: June 9, 2015
The book begins with our main character escaping her life in Nashville to attend boarding school, in South Korea. Grace is the daughter of record producer and millionaire, Stephen Wilde. She is also the sister of Nathan Cross, country music's brightest star. Early on we learn that Grace's decision to complete her senior year of high school in South Korea was because of her brother's breakdown and her mother's constant tendencies to blame her for it.
Grace hopes for a fresh start where she can finish the year without anyone discovering her true identity. All she wants is to distance herself from anything related to music. Upon arrive at her new school, she encounters her roommate Sophie. Grace gets her things unpacked and joins Sophie to the cafeteria to meet her twin brother Jason. It turns out Grace's attempts to distance herself from music are squashed on the first day as she discovers that Jason is the lead singer of a famous Korean Pop (KPOP) group. Grace is physically attracted to Jason, but she cannot stand his attitude.
What follows is a story of friendship and heartache as Grace struggles to find herself in this new and unknown territory.
I requested and downloaded this title from NetGalley without reading anything about it beforehand. I've done this a few times before with Young Adult titles and have been pleasantly surprised. I wish I could say the same for this book.
Hello, I Love You is your typical teenaged love story filled with laughter, heartbreak and maybe a happy ending. I found a few moments quite hilarious, specifically the parts where we find Grace trying to find her footing amongst all the various Korean customs, traditions and pleasantries. Outside of this I did not enjoy this book. Grace's character is on a mission to escape her life back in America. After reading the first chapter, I was hoping to see her character grow as a result of her living on her own in a new country. As the book went on, I didn't feel as though her character was really learning anything. There was no major epiphany (maybe there was, but hard to discuss that without spoiling the book) to show that she's made any positive changes to her life. As for the other characters in the story, normally there's at least one that I can relate to. All of these characters were a bit of a stretch. Maybe it's because I'm not rich or famous...
If any readers decide to pick up this book or if you've read it, I'd really like to get your thoughts on it. Maybe I missed something...
Disclaimer: I received a digital Advanced Reader Copy of Hello, I Love You from the publisher. All opinions are my own.